Pregnancy number two is here and things are drastically different than they were with my first. I have complied a list not only as a reminder to myself but to moms wanting multiple children who want to feel more prepared mentally and physically for another pregnancy. With each child, we become more equipt but that doesn’t mean we have to wait for the, “I wish I would have known” feelings. Being pregnant and growing a human has got to be one of the most grounding and miraculous acts we get to do as mothers.
Every birth is different, every pregnancy is different. Looking back now at the new mom who just saw those two pink lines, here are some of the things I would want to tell her. These following suggestions have allowed me to relax into motherhood with confidence and ease. I hope you find them helpful and inspiring.
Not finding out the gender
We were eager to find out the gender with our first and were thrilled Grant was a boy! This time, however, we are having a surprise baby. We will be excited about any gender that comes into our family.
Listening to my body more
With my first pregnancy, I had awful morning sickness and everything green was repulsive. Because everywhere I read that mother have to be taking their prenatal vitamins, I choked it down every morning that would send me running to the toilet to puke within minutes.
My lesson: take a gummy prenatal vitamin or don’t force it if you aren’t feeling it
Cravings are a sure thing during pregnancy and most of the time they are junk and processed foods we crave. With my first, I gave in to the boxed mac and cheese, pints of ice cream, and peanut butter brownies.
My takeaway: cravings are fine to listen to, just focus on whole foods. If you want the Mac and Cheese, make it yourself with whole food ingredients, like this recipe. If you want something sweet, go low to zero sugar (my favorite weight loss brownies) and make sure the ingredients are all readable/ have no numbers in them ( Red #2, Sucralose, Tert butyl hydroquinone, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), just to name a few). Check out 11 HARMFUL CHEMICALS HIDING IN YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS to learn a little more about toxins and why you need to avoid them.
Working out has always been a priority but I must admit, I pushed it and didn’t think about modifications throughout my pregnancy. With this, I ended up getting diastasis recti.
My lesson: Do the pelvic floor exercises throughout your pregnancy and actively avoid DR, not just hope it won’t happen to you. I supply my clients with several exercises to do to strengthen their pelvic floor and core. If this seems like something you might be interested in, see more here.
This pregnancy I am not avoiding squats but rather embracing them with lightweight and lots of reps. I stretch and open my hips and make my workouts tailored to helping me stay strong while also preparing for birth.
Don’t forget to DOWNLOAD YOUR 3 FREE RECIPES TO LOSE WEIGHT WHILE BREASTFEEDING
Wearing maternity clothes earlier
This pregnancy, I have a toddler who keeps me very busy. I simply don’t have the time to get ready every day. I am embracing it. At 15 weeks I started wearing my maternity shorts and going braless just about everywhere. As those bad boys grow, I love the feeling of not constraining them. Braless life is freeing!
With my first, I easily got caught up in the nervousness and rude comments some would say about me wanting a natural birth. Even family members viewed it as careless and harmful to my baby. Deep down I knew they were wrong but I must admit that it did hurt. I cried wanting them to just trust me. Maybe deep down I didn’t trust myself. I was doing something no one in my family of hospital births had ever done!
When we found out he was transverse, I was panicked and did everything in my power to flip him. I had this uneasy feeling that I had to control everything or it wasn’t going to happen naturally… how ironic is that? Yes he flipped BUT I learned quickly how little I truly could control.
My lesson: As mothers, as wives, as humans, we can’t control anything that happens to us but rather our reaction. In the face of 42 hours of natural labor, I had to calm myself to letting the worst possible thing in my mind (c section), happen for my baby’s safety.
Another takeaway: There is no rush. Every baby will eventually come. There is no real agenda and the more we relax into what is, instead of mentally thinking about all the “has to get done” the better mothers, wives, and humans we become. Don’t stress yourself with things that don’t need stressing over. All good things will happen, be present, then take the best action steps.
Prepping my body for birth
This time around I see my body as exactly what it is: a bridge between heaven and earth, the growing and opening of a human life. With my first pregnancy, I was focused on not gaining too much weight and staying consistent in the gym. This pregnancy, I am allowing my body to grow and stretch as it needs to so that birth can be as gracefully as possible. I do not judge my body, I embrace it; I am proud of my body.
What I am doing: I am focusing on many opening and pelvic floor strengthening exercises. I am actually using the tools and videos I share with my prenatal clients and it feels so right. I will do the perineal massage at 36 weeks. I will go slow when my body tells me to.
Switching up my birth plan
My first birth plan what to have my midwife, husband, mom, and best friend there with me as I had the beautiful water birth I imagined in my mind. This time, I am taking bits and pieces that served me and nixing the ones that didn’t.
My changes: I realized I do not progress (dilate) when there is pressure. As amazing as my mother is, her type A personality did not suit well for the laboring part. I never dilated past a 6 in 42 hours, the only times I continued to was when it was just my husband and I laying on the carpet together in the dark. This time it will just be my husband and I & midwife. Grant will be looked after by either a sitter or his grandma. If it feels right I will allow Grant to be apart of the birth. There will still be meditation music, affirmations, candles, salt lamps, and mostly quiet time. Last birth I love funny videos to put me in a place of ease. I will have those in my back pocket. I will also be open to back up plans. Maybe it doesn’t have to be in the tub, perhaps it feels better to stand, squat, or get on all fours during labor. I will listen to my body and my midwife and peacefully decide what is best for me and my baby.
My lesson from last birth plan: I was very attached to the outcome of a natural water birth. Any concerns from my midwife would derail be mentally and I became consumed by the horrible things that might end up happening. My worst nightmare did come true. I had to have a C-section. I was devastated and had some serious emotional trauma from that experience. What I learned looking back is that less we become attached to the process, the happier we can be with the outcome. If you feel you have trauma surrounding your birth story, I highly suggest picking up Illuminating Her Story by my sweet hippie mamma friend Arriana Alloway. So much of the book uncovers trauma that needs to be healed. Honestly, I bought it to support her then halfway through the book I found myself engrossed with her practices.
More prep for postpartum
After reading the book The First Forty Days it became apparent to me how much our society has forgotten about the necessary healing and nurturing the mother needs postpartum.
“As modern mothers are pushed to prematurely “bounce back” after delivering their babies, and are often left alone to face the physical and emotional challenges of this new stage of their lives,
the first forty days provide a lifeline—a source of connection, nourishment, and guidance.”
If you haven’t read this book and you plan on having more children, do your family and yourself a service, and order it. It shifted my mindset on “bouncing back,” to healing into motherhood.
Prep I will be doing:
- simple healing recipes (Congee, broth, warming foods) frozen to give my body and baby the boost of healing it needs
- Vaginal healing remedies ready to go (Tucks pads, Sitz bath, soaking salts, heating pad, loose clothes, arnica tablets, etc.)
- Extra diapers for me and baby 🙂
- Confirming with sitters and grandmas that they can help me with Grant and simple household chores
I hope you enjoyed these suggestions on how I am doing things different this pregnancy. Keep in mind, you have all the right answers if you can sit with your heart and let your mind rest in silence. Each birth has its own story and I send you strength and light to all of your pregnancies and births. If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear them. Don’t forget to follow me or reach out on IG!!- plantingseedsmamma.
Other posts you may be interested in :